Research supports hands-on learning and inquiry. Take a look at Makerspace's Research Roundup for articles and studies on how making, creating, and tinkering affect learning. We know that engagement is key to reaching students. Students love to create and investigate, and we can teach our students to question things more deeply as they "play" (Kurti, Kurti, & Fliming, 2014). We must become more comfortable with unanswered questions and answering with another question.
Why a MakerSpace?
Where Do I Start?
Start where you are...in your classroom. Campus makerspaces are fantastic! Libraries or classrooms filled with tools and technology are amazing, but you don't have to start (or finish) there. Making should be happening in every classroom. You can bring makerspaces to your content stations, to a portable tub, to several buckets, or even to your students' backpacks. Making is an action - not a space. It's about the feeling you create, the excitement you bring, the permission to fail you give, the questions you ask, and the example you set. Makerspaces can be no tech, low tech, high tech, or any combination you choose. Why not start with what your students already have - smartphones. Consider BYOD, if you aren't already harnessing this power.
Five Free Things Students Can Create with their Phones
- Create a Stop Motion Video (Many choices - I like Stop Motion Studio)
- Record a Song they wrote/Produce a music video (Voice Record Pro, iMovie, Garageband)
- Write and produce a movie (Camera/iMovie)
- Create a talking avatar (Tellagami, Photospeak)
- Learn to Code (Many choices - Code.org, Tickle, Playgrounds is a new favorite of mine)
Check out Stop Motion on YouTube. I searched Stop Motion Water Cycle and found great examples, such as this one by Ethan Thompson!
What ideas can you share? Leave a comment below to join the conversation!